Poetry & Blog


2016 was an extremely hard year for me. In December of 2016 I spent a week in the psych ward.  Here are a few snippets of entries I wrote to my therapist. There was nothing to do–so I wrote a lot, and I wrote everything down! (I am copying word for word from my journal/diary–so please don’t judge my writing.)

Day One: 

Dear J, 

I’m sitting in this hell hole trying to make the time pass by. Some woman hit her head on a chair, and fell down today. They asked her what her name was and she couldn’t remember. She can’t even remember who the president is! Everyone here calls me “TERI”, and I don’t know how to correct them. I thought this place was what I needed. In a way it is, and in some ways it’s not. It’s definitely a wake up call. I can’t keep using maladaptive behaviors as coping skills. I can’t keep attaching myself to other people–hoping that they stay. No one ever stays. They leave, and I’m stuck with all this love. What the f*ck am I supposed to do with this leftover love? How do I not worship the shipwrecks that have stranded me here? Help me. 

Day Two: 

Dear J, 

YOU CALL THIS TREATMENT? I COULD HAVED STRIPPED MY BEDROOM WALLS OF ALL THE ARTWORK, REMOVED ANY PENS, SHARP OBJECTS ECT…SAT ON MY BED WITHOUT ELECTRONICS AND CALLED IT TREATMENT. There’s this nurse who needs more attention than my 9 year old sister. She comes in and harasses me every five minutes. I’m not gonna kill myself–I can’t anyway–there’s nothing in this entire building that could kill me!!! She also doesn’t shut up. Her voice is 4 pitches too high at all hours of the night. SHE needs to be admitted. …

Besides all that my psychiatrist is a psycho and he’s f*cking with all my meds and won’t release me until I’ve gotten a second blood test. I asked if I could check myself out, and he said–“You’re a bright girl. This isn’t a motel where you can check in and check out”. I rolled my eyes–but not right away. I waited until he turned his head. He also threatened to put me in solitary lock down for 96 hours if I chose to sign myself out. The nerve. I AM FINE. I am not suicidal. LET ME OUT OF HERE. How is locking a human away in a unit full of other crazy people treatment? I feel crazier. F*ck, I miss my phone.

Day Three: 

Dear J, 

Why didn’t you tell me how boring this place was going to be? There’s a woman that’s been in here for 3 weeks. I think that in itself would kill me. It’s Saturday, and I’ve been here for 3 days. Dr. G called my psychiatrist here and told him to take me of all my meds. I don’t know how to tell the both of them that I haven’t taken my meds since September… oops. The greatest thing about this place is that they haven’t weighed me once. I’m terrified of the scale. One wrong number can have crying for days. Fortunately, all they do is check my blood pressure 6 times a day. Last night around 2am my blood pressure got too low, and they had me stay up for an hour and a half. COME ON. 

Today I finally left my room. I’m sitting in this place called the day room. The only place with a tv and a working heater. They do this on purpose–leaving the heat only in the dayroom. How cruel. What if I don’t want to interact with anyone else. You know what I’ve realized? I don’t mind being alone. I’m just scared of being lonely. What if no one ever loves me? 

Day Four: 

Dear J, 

I really feel like I can be honest with you. There’s this technician in scrubs who’s a literal stalker. He just sits there and watches me. I mean, I get that I’m on suicide watch and they gotta make sure I stay alive. What am I gonna kill myself with in here? They’ve removed everything. Besides, I don’t want to die anymore. I’m too curious about my future. What will my future profession be? Where am I going to live? Who am I going to marry? Am I going to save the world? Write a book? Become a princess? If I could get some sort of sign into the future that shows me that it’s going to be alright then it would ease all my anxiety. AND BOY DO I HAVE ANXIETY. I hope to see myself on the opposite side of the couch–y’know providing the help, and not being the help. I remember you said that all therapists have probably been on the other side of the couch at least once in their lives. I’m no exception. I just want to laugh. Make me laugh. 

Day Five: 

Dear J, 

There are no black people in here. The only black people in here are the ones that come and clean the floors. They keep looking at me like I am psycho. I just want to scream, “I am a WASH U STUDENT. I WON’T BE CLEANING FLOORS WHEN I GET OUT OF HERE!” HAHAHA. J, I am so mean. I giggled to myself and the technician asked if I was ok. F*ck you technician. Btw, you would think that they would provide quality mattresses for us crazies. My hips hurting, this isn’t treatment. J, this is INCARCERATION. I’m in jail for being honest about my feelings. People in jail probably have more fun. I’ve seen ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. They have sex in jail!!!! 

On a serious note. I’ve made friends. My mom would be so proud. LOL. Tari making friends in the psych ward. I just ask these women questions. Their lives are so interesting. 

Dear J, 

It’s still the same day. I am back. There’s this 18 year old girl going around flirting with all the guys. Who flirts with men who are in a psych ward? She’s in here because she’s going through a heroin detox, and she’s over here trying to find a husband. I’m rolling my eyes. You wanna know why this place is working for me? Because I’m meeting all these psychos and I’m like, “damn, I am 100% normal. I’m good to go. I’ve got it GREAT!” However, it is unfair of me to call them crazies and psychos. The fact that they are here means that they are here trying (or maybe they were ADMITTED BY THEIR THERAPIST AGAINST THEIR WILL) but who knows… 

I just talked to the nurse and she says that she takes notes on all the patients. The notes go to the doctors. So, from now on I am just going to act like I am f*cking ball of sunshine. I need to go home. My rabbi came to visit me today and she brought me a stuffed tiger. She said she wanted to remind me that I am a strong person, and that “this too shall pass”. WELL GUESS WHAT. They took that away from me as soon as she left. WHO KILLS THEM SELVES WITH A TIGER. 

Day Six: 

Dear J, 

I woke up early this morning. My head was killing me and I couldn’t go back to bed. I wanted to tell the nurse that I was having a brain aneurysm, but I knew they wouldn’t find that funny. There’s a girl here that’s hearing voices, and seeing things. Man. Just gonna take a moment and pray for her–wouldn’t wanna be in her shoes. NO WAY. Irene’s coming to see me today. She’s bringing me books!! YAY. 

Whenever I tell people I’m “sad” they don’t believe me. I told Eric that I wanted to die 3 weeks ago, and he said “why would you want to die? You just got your degree from a top university, and you’re beautiful.” As if getting a college diploma and being beautiful solves all the worlds problems. 

I’m leaving tomorrow. I saw the doctor today, and he said he sees a significant difference. Well, DR SMARTY PANTS obviously you don’t understand that I’m just playing your game so I can get out of here. Idiot. But honestly, I’m feeling good and stable. I’ve found the perfect spot to sit at where I don’t have to interact with the other patients. It’s right by the nurses station. Who’s being anti social now? HUH? 😉 

There’s a new girl in here who looks terrible. Her face is sunken in. She’s pretty young, but she looks so old. I think she’s detoxing from meth. I’m just glad that I don’t have a chemical dependency. 

Day Seven: 

Dear J, 

I definitely think I’m feeling better! AND I AM GOING HOME. I’m kind of nervous about heading home. I left things in such a state of array. Being here is so easy. I have no phone. I have no appointments. It’s a good break from reality. I’ve been really lucky that my friends have called while I’ve been in here. Sam called. Irene called and came to visit. My rabbi came! My aunt in memphis called twice! I guess I am loved. It feels good. Really really good. My first night was extremely scary. I was so mad at myself for falling off the wagon. I can’t keep messing up. I gotta get it together. No more bad coping mechanisms. No more skipping meds. I’ll go to the gym. I can’t keep living a life that’s not mine. I can’t keep letting people control my emotions. I’m going to try and be the best version of myself. I need to remember that I have good things going on for me, a lot of good things. 

Thanks for sending me here J. 


Today: March 1st 2018

It’s crazy to think that, that was me. Those were my thoughts. The amount of self hate that consumed me was absolutely terrifying. It’s been a year. I am a whole new person, and I owe that to myself. Everyday isn’t easy. Those thoughts still find their way into my brain, but I know how to tackle them. I have better coping skills. I rarely use maladaptive behaviors. But, most importantly, I write. I write every feeling, I validate my own experiences. This wanting of myself gets stronger with age. 

Stay safe, + remember that you are loved. 





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